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Make Cushion Covers – The Easy Way!

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How to make an easy cushion cover for an ottoman using decorative fabric when you lack sewing skills.

Did you notice the word “Slip” is not in front of the word “Cover” in the title of this post?

I can’t call the colorful new cushion covers I made for the pair of ottomans in my family room – slipcovers, since they are actually more like loose fitting tablecloths.

It is not how I intended to make them, but when I was asked to be part of  a campaign that JoAnn and Waverly are holding this month using their new fall fabrics, I took the challenge to get creative.


I was sent a mystery box of 2 yards of fabric. When I opened it, I found the pattern Groovy Grille in the color Confetti inside. I loved it and knew it would look perfect on the ottomans.

My initial plan was to make real slipcovers with piping and pleated skirts, but 2 yards was not enough fabric to do that.  Since the fabric was perfect for my color scheme, I had to think out-of –the-box to make 2 yards work. Since that is what the campaign is all about, I went for it.

I used the two yards with none to spare.   I am calling them “cheater covers” as they may not be made the “right way” – but they work for me… perfect in their imperfection.

I am not a seamstress, but I can sew a straight line on my 1957 Singer that I will never give up.   It gets the job done.  Simple  – no bells and whistles – just a machine that keeps on – sewing on!  I made white slipcovers for the ottomans a few years ago and will still use these, but now I have options and can easily change them when I am feeling the need for some color and pattern.

My friend Toni was over after I made them and told me my family room is now ready for that beach house I want some day.  Smile

Ottoman Cushion Before:

Cushion-Cover making tutorial

I bought the ottomans many years ago. They are quite versatile and I move them around quite a bit to use as extra seating.  I am also experimenting with different paints and colors to give them a color update.  More on that soon.

How I Make Ottoman Cushion Covers Using Decorative Fabric


1. Since I knew I would eventually be washing the covers, I washed the fabric in hot water to shrink it so that the cover will fit even after it gets washed.  If you don’t shrink the fabric before sewing, the cover won’t fit after you wash it.

To figure out the yardage needed:  I placed the fabric over the cushion and let it drape down evenly on all sides.  I would have liked it to hang longer, but this is where the selvage to selvage side fell. The other side was a bit shorter, but if I fudged it, I knew I could make it work with a little trick.

I removed the fabric and cut in in half.  One yard for each cushion.

2.  Place the fabric wrong-side down on the cushion making sure it is centered and bring the fabric at each corner together as shown in the above photo and pin it.


3.  Sew each corner to create a seam.  Cut excess fabric and press seam open.


4. Turn cover right side out and place over cushion.  You can see how the side edges do not match up because I was only working with a yard of fabric for each cushion.


5.  When I turned and pressed the bottom to create a hem, the selvage sides looked fine, but not the cut sides – too short.

The easy FIX!  Decorative trim!


I compare decorative trim to caulk and what it does when you have to fudge over all the bad cuts you made on the crown molding corners that don’t match up.

Decorative trims hide all your mistakes or an uneven hem.


6. After pressing the fabric under to make a hem, I pinned the pom-pom trim to the front edge all around the cover.  I folded the short fringe sides under too and pressed them so they would be at least stitched secure.


7. I took the cover to my sewing machine and sewed the hem and trim on.  I do know enough about sewing to place my pins vertically, not horizontally so you can easily remove them as you sew.


A date with the iron and the cushion cover is done.  Now that the covers have trim on them, I will spot clean them and then use a home dry cleaning bag that you put in a dryer to clean them.   This will save the color from getting too washed away on the fabric, too.

Shhhhh! don’t tell anyone the hem under the trim looks pretty bad!  They will never know.

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  1. I think you came up with a fabulous idea for recovering your ottoman cushions! So easy to remove and clean them when needed. Love it! Nice pop of color too. Great Job!

  2. What a pretty cushion cover! great job. Love how functional it is to clean and you can change covers with the seasons. Love it!

  3. wow.. I so needed this sort of tutorial for my own ottomans..

    thank you.. yours is so pretty~!